new_mrf_high_res_logo_7 An educational and fun event for families living with the after effects of meningitis and septicaemia is being held in Oakham by international charity Meningitis Research Foundation.

Pushing the Boundaries will take place at Active Rutland Hub, Oakham on Wednesday 28 October. It is an opportunity for children with amputations and neurological after effects and their families from across the UK to come together, have fun, share experiences and get support and advice from experts.

Following the success of two previous events in Liverpool and Bristol the day will offer opportunities for the children to try different sports under the guidance of specialist coaches. England Rugby World Cup winner Ben Cohen will be attending the event and speaking to parents as well as taking a rugby training session for the children and their siblings.

Informative sessions for parents/carers will include: developmental delay and behavioural issues, coping at school and the effects on other family members, particularly siblings. There will also be a personal meningitis journey session from London 2012 Paralympic Wheelchair rugby Athlete and MRF Member Aaron Phipps.

Melinda Lancaster from Catterick, Yorkshire attended last year’s event with her daughter Amelia who contracted meningitis and septicaemia at 10 months old in 2010. She said: “they told us Amelia wouldn’t make it past the first 24 hours but she pulled through and we spent two months by her hospital while she recovered. They thought she would lose both her legs and one arm below the elbow but they managed to save everything apart from her fingers.”

“Pushing the Boundaries was a very useful day for us as we were able to meet a consultant in rehabilitation and prosthetics. He provided us with a myoelectric prosthetic hand for Amelia that she needed despite our NHS Trust being unwilling to provide one. The hand has helped with her development and confidence. They also discovered a possible form of epilepsy that otherwise would have gone unexplored and is now being investigated. Everything for Amelia has been changed for the better due to this one day and we are finally getting her the help and answers she needed.”

Shirley Gieron, Head of Membership & Support at Meningitis Research Foundation adds: “Our Pushing the Boundaries event is a fantastic opportunity for our members to meet other families and share their experiences, as well as a chance to get practical advice on dealing with some difficult issues from medical experts, exhibitors and MRF staff.

Feedback from previous events illustrated how much parents and carers enjoyed the opportunity to quiz experts and find out more about services available to their children and well as having fun and learning new sports. Thanks to support from our sponsors, we have been able to extend the invitation to children with neurological after effects as well as amputations. We are looking forward to another great day with plenty of learning, sharing and fun and lots of new friendships forged.”

Special thanks to our sponsors and supporters Clarke Willmott LLP, GSK, Felix Byam Shaw Foundation, Active Rutland Hub and Leicester-shire & Rutland Sport